WINDHAM — Meghan Hoffses scored with 19:14 remaining to lift fifth-seeded Windham to a 1-0 win over 12th-seeded South Portland in the preliminary round of Class A South girls’ soccer tournament Saturday afternoon.

Despite dominating possession throughout the game, Windham (11-3-1) couldn’t break through until midway through the second half.

“Trouble is, in tournament games, it just takes one breakdown in the back. It was nice to see us keep the pressure up. In order to put one in, you have to keep shooting,” said Windham Coach Deb Lebel.

On the winning goal, Red Riots keeper Maria Buck tried to clear the ball out of her zone, but her attempt was intercepted by Caitlin Drouin, who quickly put a shot on goal.

Buck stopped that shot, but the rebound kicked right back to Drouin, and her second attempt was deflected to Hoffses at the left side of the box for a tap-in goal.

“(It was) a breakdown in the back – bam, Windham was able to pounce on it,” said South Portland Coach Jeff Selser.

“We finally finished,” said Windham sophomore back Emma Yale. “All the work we had been putting in (during the game), we just put it together. It was really exciting.”

Buck finished with 14 saves, including a fantastic diving stop near the right post with less than two minutes remaining in the first half.

“Our defense has been great all year,” said Selser. “They’re young. My team is really young, they’re a great group of girls. It’s been a long season for us, we’ve lost a lot of games by one (goal). I thought we’ve played some great soccer this year.”

Windham outshot South Portland 40-3 and had a 7-0 edge in corner kicks.

“(It was) very frustrating. I think we knew that eventually we were going to score; it was just going to be a matter of when,” said Lebel. “It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it.”

“Windham overpowered us from the opening whistle to the closing whistle. Credit to them, they clearly came out with more energy and more aggression,” said Selser.

Windham will travel to fourth-seeded Bonny Eagle for a quarterfinal on Wednesday. Bonny Eagle won the regular-season matchup, 4-1 on Sept. 5.

“I think we’ve grown a lot since that game. It’s going to be a battle. Whoever comes to play, whoever makes fewer mistakes is going to win that game,” said Lebel.

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